BRRKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – Five members of Boy Scout Troop 368 were honored on Sunday for attaining the rank of Eagle Scout. Mason Boenning, Jimmy Pitingolo, Louis Pitingolo, Luke Sylvester and Austin Wang were recognized in a Court of Honor at the Presbyterian Church of Westfield.
Congressman Leonard Lance was on hand to recognize the Scouts for their achievement, presenting each Scout with a resolution from Congress admiring their accomplishment.
“Louis, Austin, Mason, James and Luke should be proud of their accomplishment,” said Lance. “Being Eagle Scouts will be something to carry with pride for the rest of their lives. I am impressed with these young men and their professional, academic and civic engagement and the projects and acts of charity and goodwill carried out for others and their community. Job well done.”
Eagle Scout Advisor John Pullara also gave each Eagle Scout a resolution from the Senate. Former Troop 368 Scoutmasters Rick Jurgens and Howard Lee also spoke, recollecting memories of the five Scouts over their years in the troop.
Only five out of 100 Boy Scouts will reach the rank of Eagle. Eagle Scout is the highest advancement ranking in Boy Scouting, and since 1912 more than two million Boy Scouts have earned the Eagle Scout rank.
Mason has been a part of Boy Scouts for 13 years, starting in Cub Scouts. He is the recipient of the Scout Scholar Athlete Award and the Arrow of Light. He will be attending Stevens Institute of Technology in the fall and will be studying Quantitative Finance and playing on their varsity soccer team.
Having attended Deerfield School for six years and played in the Mountainside Youth Baseball league for five years, Mason chose to give back to his former school and fields by upgrading the sign and creating a garden to make the back entrance to Deerfield School more presentable. The sign welcoming visitors to the Deerfield School and Mountainside Youth Baseball Little League fields was over twenty years old and beginning to rot and fall apart, so Mason purchased a new, updated sign. He also created a small garden around the sign that draws attention to and enhances the sign. The large area around the sign is a picnic and viewing area for the baseball field, so Mason spread wood chips in the area surrounding the garden to level the ground and prevent mud for the many people that use the area. Lastly, a picnic bench was built and installed to provide another place for people to sit and enjoy the baseball games.
Jimmy has been a member of the Boy Scouts since first grade. He has attained the Arrow of Light, Zero Hero Award and Silver Service Award. Jimmy will be studying Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University in the fall.
For the Berkeley Heights Rescue Squad’s 75th anniversary, Jimmy wanted to show appreciation and commemorate this anniversary through his Eagle Scout service project, while beautifying and restoring the grounds of the facilities located at the intersection of Snyder and Locust. He designed and dug out a planting bed at the front of the building and at the base of the flagpole, decorating them with perennial shrubs and flowers, laying mulch, and bordering them with decorative brick curbing. Jimmy also adjusted and fixed a tilt in the flagpole situated in the center of the lawn. At the base of the trees near the sidewalk, Jimmy created small flower beds. To commemorate the anniversary, a bright maple tree was planted near the front of the building, and a plaque was installed to recognize the project.
Louis has been a Boy Scout since joining in first grade. He has earned the Arrow of Light, Scout Scholar Athlete Award, Gold Service Award, and Zero Hero Award. He will be attending Villanova University in the fall, where he will be majoring in computer science.
Louis’s project was a part of a larger initiative by the Recreation Department to refurbish the Lower Columbia Park. He led his team in building a patio beside the basketball courts to provide an attractive, level ground for the picnic tables already there. The patio began with a hole dug by the Berkeley Heights Department of Public Works, which the team then filled with gravels underlying the final layer of pavers. Additionally, his team laid mulch over the surrounding areas with a new patio and refurbished picnic areas. A rock barrier was installed to protect the area from seasonal flooding and a plaque commemorative of the project was put in place.
Luke has been a Scout since joining first grade Tigers 11 years ago. He has earned the Arrow of Light, Boston Freedom Trail Award, and Bronze Service Award. Luke was also a recipient of the Casey Murphy Memorial Scholarship. He will be attending Bucknell University in the fall.
Luke’s project was designed to provide flooring in the attic of Masker’s Barn in the Deserted Village of Feltville. The popular Haunted Hayride is held here annually and the renovation was needed to provide a year-round storage space for materials used for the event. Props and costumes were scattered over several storage locations, so Luke’s project was designed so that all the materials could be consolidated. The floor space in the attic was converted from a catwalk to an actual floor that was able to support weight, thereby increasing storage capacity. Shelving and hanging rods were installed, and all the Haunted Hayride materials were organized into totes and placed on shelves ready for the next event.
Austin joined Boy Scouts in March 2010 and has been in Troop 368 for eight years. In scouting, he has received the Boston Freedom Trail Award, Scuba BSA, 100 Nights of Camping, and Silver Service Award. Austin was also Senior Patrol Leader in spring of 2015. Austin is entering his sophomore year at Rutgers University, where he studies statistics.
Austin's Eagle Scout project was located at Lower Columbia field next to the first basketball court. The area was overgrown with vegetation and poison ivy, which made it difficult for players to get the ball when it went out of bounds. The area also sits at the entrance of the park which reduces the appeal and prestige of the area. The first step of the project was to clear the area of vegetation, followed by putting down landscaping blankets to prevent the vegetation from growing back. After that, the area was covered with mulch and two picnic tables were installed on site along with a garbage can receptacle. For a natural remedy against mosquitoes, two bat houses were fixed on the trees above. Altogether, 25 people worked on this project with a total of 149 service hours over the course of one week.